Bassendean: rift between councillor Paul Bridges and Mayor John Gangell brewing after comments about Bassendean development

Bassendean: rift between councillor Paul Bridges and Mayor John Gangell brewing after comments about Bassendean development

A RIFT between Town of Bassendean councillor Paul Bridges and Mayor John Gangell is brewing, after Cr Bridges said the council would consider ceasing development plans with LandCorp if it failed to respect the council’s and residents’ wishes.

Several Bassendean residents pushed for no development in the town centre at a council meeting on Tuesday.

The Community Working Group, comprising 31 residents, met the Project Steering Group, made up of four town and four LandCorp representatives at the final planning forum on Wednesday.

Cr Bridges said the town’s opinions were not reflected in LandCorp’s plans for Bassendean Oval, BIC Reserve and the Wilson Street car park, which were presented on Wednesday.

He said LandCorp “bulldozed” through the process and had not considered the council’s decision to extend the consultation process by six months.

“The council will discuss, with the other two parties with further and proper consultation to occur,” Cr Bridges said.

“Hopefully the other partners would ratify that because if they do not, the town would have to withdraw from the project.”

Mayor Gangell said Cr Bridges’ comments were “completely out of order”.

“We are a part of a partnership and a few members from the Community Working Group were quite satisfied with having broader community consultation,” he said.

LandCorp general manager metropolitan John Hackett said plans were continually refined according to community input.

“Though there were a range of views discussed during the meeting, there was strong sentiment that the community wants development in Bassendean and they want this project to progress to the next phase of planning,” Mr Hackett said.

“The community consultation approach that has been undertaken so far is consistent with the initial concept planning phase of a town centre revitalisation project such as this.”

He said the preferred plans would be made public in mid-June.

Community working group member Kathryn Hamilton said many members were “very frustrated” with the outcome of the meeting.

Opinion, page 10